Our personal success stories all have to begin somewhere…but our success stories should never end on the same page they began with.
What I mean is, for personal success to happen, our success stories should always be in progression. A new chapter should begin with each new change in our profession and with each new demand of society. We should never be stuck in the old way of doing things when our profession and the public’s demands are changing.
I have had quite a few businesses, but the first was as General Contractor.
Fresh out of school I started as a laborer, digging ditches, running a jackhammer and sweeping floors. I was making decent money, but the work was hard and I could see that being a laborer would get me nowhere fast. So I entered the carpenter union’s apprenticeship program.
This meant learning new things and creating new skills…right up my personality-type alley. I enjoyed it for around five years, until I realized that there would be more opportunity if I could become a General Contractor. I could run the business the way I thought best, make more money, and have more time with my family…if I did it right.
During my first two years of contracting, I did very well. However, I noticed a trend that could spell disaster for larger companies as the market was weakening. I kept my crew small and worked side by side with the two young men I had hired and trained. I drew the plans, laid out the houses, pounded nails, and built some beautiful custom homes, along with keeping the remodeling part of the business going.
When the market did fail, we kept moving right along, making a good living. In the mean time many of the contractors who kept going as they had always done with their huge crews, were stuck with unsold homes and finally folded.
I just kept plugging along, doing room additions and remodeling…and doing well.
So why am I telling you this and what does this have to do with your personal success?
First of all, I am not telling you this to boast in any way, but to encourage you. If you are to have personal success you must keep your eyes on the demands and desires of the customers in your industry. Be willing to change with the signs of the times.
The Schwinn bicycle company had been around for several hundred years, but folded around 30 years ago. They made great and popular bikes, but the member of the family who took over for this generation of bikes was unwilling to change with the times. He insisted on doing things the same way the Schwinn Company had always done things. As a result, they lost millions of dollars and the Schwinn family business went down the tubes.